Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The NaNoWriMo Insanity Begins!

NaNoWriMo started on Monday, and I began with a bit of a rough start.

I spent the entire month of October plotting and sketching my mystery novel in my head and jotting down notes everywhere. Halloween night I finally wrote a basic synopsis, showing me the entire story from beginning to end. Then, I created the outline of basic plot points including a few notes on what information was necessary to include in each scene and leaving out any major details. This way I could really experience the creative process.

It felt good to have the story staring back at me, but for some reason it didn't feel right. My nervousness began creeping in. The 2,000 words I planned to write on Monday were weighing heavily on me. Questions prayed on my already weakening confidence, leading me to think I wasn't up for the challenge.

Does my story make sense? Am I going to be able to make it to the end of the month with 50,000 words written? What if I make it to the end with a terrible story that needs to be thrown away?

Well, Monday came and I didn't get any writing done. I was so embarrassed. I spent the day catching up on my blogs, updating attractions listings for my internship, and anything else to avoid writing. I needed a change of scenery, so I took a shower.

As the water warmed me up, I realized my story lacked an element of surprise. Was this why I couldn't write? And then, it came to me! I knew the final, surprise ending to the story. After I was dressed, I went back over my outline trying to find areas to drop clues. By the time I decided to sit down and get some words down, I was exhausted. I typed 16 words, saved it, and went to bed.
Tuesday, I finally got a good amount of writing done. I realized after I started writing I needed to put my outline and character sketches on index cards. It was frustrating going back and forth from different Word documents to find information I needed to incorporate in the story.
Then, my doubt was back. This is my first time really diving into a large writing project, and I was really scared. I’ve never written a novel or anything close in length before, and I was concerned I would make it to the end of my novel short on words. Before this challenge, I spent my time responding to prompts with 500 word limits. To top it all off, I couldn't keep my eyes from moving down the page every five minutes, finding the word counter at the bottom, wishing it will magically increase.
I was also fighting an urge to write my chapters and go back to fill in details, but I’m not supposed to stop writing or go back to make changes. Pumping out a novel? More like dragging it out from under the bed, kicking and screaming. So, I decided to keep a writing journal, with lists of concerns, frustrations, doubts, and ideas in a separate document. Clearing my head of all the bad Mojo stalling me.
The journaling allowed me to point out flaws in my writing. I noticed I was writing a bare bone story, leaving out important sensory details. If I kept this up, my fears of failure would become reality.
An hour later, I was surprised. My flow of writing improved. The journaling alerted my subconscious to fix the problems as I continued to write. Details found their way into my writing, as well as a few unintentional foreshadowings.
The excitement helped me get into the story, strengthening my connection to the plot and improving the character development. Now, my story was guided by independent 3-demensional characters, instead of uninteresting, flat ones.
I finished at 12:44 am, writing 3, 269 words. I am not entirely sure how to avoid rushing or dragging out the exposition, I know I'm behind in word amount, but I need to write whatever comes out and stop psyching myself out. 

Out self-sabotaging thoughts! 

 Welcome positive and inspirational thoughts.

Here's a quick glance at my basic synopsis, sans ending:
Lexi Andrews, a woman approaching her 30’s, finds her store manager of Gourmet Chef lying in a pool of blood with a carving knife protruding from his chest. The police are called to the scene, but all Lexi can remember is seeing a flash of red when she returned to the sales floor from trash collection in the storeroom. Investigations look into a recently fired employee who was seen arguing with the victim after the store closed, an angry, self-entitled super-mom the victim humiliated during a turkey carving demonstration, and the victim’s jealous boyfriend, who’s finger prints were found on the knife. Lexi’s personal struggles are compressed with the shock and tragedy of losing her friend and coworker. Someone is following her; death threats are left on her car, boiling down to a fatal fight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Internship Washes Away Bad Taste

Recently, I applied for an entry-level position with Philadelphia Magazine, but unfortunately my resume was discarded because I didn't have any magazine experience and I never worked with the computer program they use to put their magazine together.

And after an unsuccessful experience with my last internship, I applied to one with MetroKids, a free Philadelphia based magazine for parents, hoping for better results. I sent my resume and three writing samples: a personal essay and two biography entries. I was ecstatic about interning for a magazine. I would learn how it runs, how an issue is put together, experience working with an editor and get published.

Since I had worked with children as a former teacher, I thought I made a good candidate for MetroKids. The skills I would gain would increase my chances of being hired at a magazine if that's what I wanted to do once I completed the internship.

After I clicked "send", I realized I didn't include a cover letter. Did I have to? They only asked for a resume and writing samples in the ad. My anxiety began to build. I pulled up Google and searched "cover letters" and found out I should include a cover letter each time I apply for a job, even if it isn't specified. Employers view an applicant without a cover letter as lazy and throw out their resume.

Now, I knew that. I included one every time I applied for a teaching position. They became easy. All I had to do was change a few things: address the letter to the specific school district and update any skills I acquired. Writing jobs I've applied to require me to write almost an entirely different cover letter each time. An annoying and painstakingly long process, but necessary if I want to be hired.

My anxiety started to overwhelm me. Instead of kicking myself for missing an opportunity, I sent another email including a cover letter. Then I waited. A week went by with no response. I assumed that my resume was overlooked because I didn't include a cover letter the first time. Another attempt at getting a job failed.

Then, I received a phone call from a number I didn't recognize while I writing two weeks ago. After debating, I picked it up. The man on the other end, Tom Livingston, was the editor at MetroKids. He had looked over my resume and writing samples and was interested in offering me the internship. He revealed he wasn't sure what to think about my writing samples, since he focuses on journalistic writing, but the calendar editor, Stephanie Halinski, said I wrote with "vivid verbs". What a great compliment.

The following week I would head into the tiny magazine office in Philly to make sure Tom and I "didn't hate each other." I appreciated his humor, and realized this internship was starting off more positively than the last one.

I went in on Monday, met the friendly staff, and received an overview of my responsibilities. Tom showed me his wall of magazine covers dating back to 1999 (when I graduated high school) that help him reference font styles and formats that he liked for future issues. He then explained he needed a few more weeks to put the 2011 editorial calendar together before he could assign me an article, and asked me to trust him. I said sure. I had no reason not to.

Just then, the distribution manager, Leah, informed Tom and Stephanie that November's issue had arrived. I walked downstairs to participate with two other staff members, six of us in all, in the high-tech system of getting the magazine in the building: a human assembly line. I was getting practical, on-the-job experience of how a magazine works. Although unexpected, I really enjoyed it.

Then, I sat down with Stephanie as she guided me through the process of updating attraction listings. Everything appeared pretty straight forward and I would have a typed up guide to help me at home. The attractions needed to be put on the web site, eventually used to create 2011's Find-It Book.

Tom walked me to the subway entrance down the street after I said my good-byes and let everyone know it was nice to meet them. I told him I was very excited to be working with him and the magazine. He assured me that I was welcome to come in and work to get an idea of what it's like working for a magazine.

While riding the R3 home, I realized I didn't know which section to start updating. An email from Stephanie greeted me when I finally made it home. She said I should start with Bucks County, since I live there.

I finished that Thursday, sent in my update report and received my next assignment to add attractions that were not already in the database from the Bucks County listing. Stephanie's email responses are prompt and answered any question I presented. I know I made the right choice to stop the work I was doing with my previous internship.

There might have been a lot of negative memories, but my first intern experience made me a stronger person. I speak up for myself, and look out for my best interests while working for someone else. I dictate the parameters of my internship. I set and reach my goals. I just need to remind myself it isn't going to happen over night. Hard work and mistakes will reveal my path.

I am grateful I can work from home, but still go in to the office when I want to with MetroKids. I enjoy Tom's self-deprecating humor and Stephanie's sweet personality. I can't wait for my first writing assignment. I knew, if I kept moving forward with my eyes peeled, new opportunities would present themselves.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Musical Muse Prompt

I receive emails from the Writer's Digest blog, Promptly, every couple of days. Using music lyrics to produce a few hundred words was yesterday's prompt. It hoped to inspire the writer by asking them to choose two favorite songs. Pick a line from the chorus of one song, and a line from the chorus of the other song and integrate into their scene.

I was really excited by the prompt because I love music lyrics. The song writers always seem to say exactly what I'm feeling when I've gone mute. The words evoke strong emotional responses from me. So, why not take advantage of the writing exercise and put the strong emotional responses down in a short scene, giving my thoughts a voice.

Alexi Murdoch's "Wait" and Florence and The Machine's "Heavy in Your Arms" and "You've Got the Love" are the three songs I chose (two songs weren't enough). I started the scene with "If I can’t be, all that I could be", used "I'm so heavy, heavy, heavy in your arms" right before the end, and concluded the scene with "You’ve got the love I need to see me through." I changed the lyrics around a bit to fit the scene, but I think the emotion is still intact. Let me know what you think.

Silent Fear

If I can’t be, all that I could be, would you still love me, she thought as she watched him sleep. Something was always missing, constantly nagging her. She wanted to talk about the insanity drowning her. Her quick, shallow breaths woke him.

“Are you alright?” he asked, turning to face her.

“I can’t sleep.”

“What’s on your mind?”

Biting the tip of her thumb, she shook her head afraid to tell him. Her chest got tighter, knowing something needed to be said, but couldn't find the courage. What if my words chase him away?

“Talk to me.”

“I’m overwhelmed.”

Overwhelmed by all the choices she faced everyday. What am I going to do with my life? She left her last job with no intention of ever going back. Eager to move forward, she bit off more than she could handle.

“By what?”

Shaking her head, pushing the sheets away, she got out of the bed. He followed as she walked into the living room and sat on the couch.

“Amy, you have to talk to me. I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s going on.”

She wanted to tell him she felt powerless. Everything was hitting her so fast, and she couldn’t keep up or catch her breath. Succumbing to doubts of success made her want to disappear. She squeezed his hand unsure if he would stay with her if she didn’t amount to anything.

“I can’t do this?”

“Do what? Please talk to me.”

“Dan, I can’t breathe. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Well, you aren’t going to get passed this if you aren’t willing to talk about it.”

Her thoughts chaotically ran around her mind, moving too fast to be spoken. She feared her meltdowns were starting to weigh on him. Any sane man would get fed up with this weakness and leave. I rely on him for so much, but how long will it last?

“I’m afraid I’m going to lose you.”


“Because my life is such a mess and I can’t get my shit together. I’m afraid my depression is going to wear you out and you’ll leave.”

She turned her back to him, afraid to see his face. She dropped his hand, stood up from the couch and moved to the window. He got up and stood behind her as she watched the flag waving in the night wind. Out of frustration, he grabbed her shoulder so he could see her face as he spoke to her.

“Number one, stop running away from me. How can I be there for you, if you won’t let me?”

“I’m so scared. I feel myself falling.”

“Grab onto me.”

“But . . . I feel so heavy in your arms.”

“I can handle it, just hold on.”

She looked at him, tears filling her eyes. I don’t know if I can hold it together anymore.

“When will this get easier?”

The tears finally fell down her face as she crumbled into him. His strong embrace made her feel safe, like nothing could wound her. She wanted to stay there forever.

“I don’t think it gets easier. You just eventually get stronger.”

Looking up through her tears, she kissed him hard. You’ve got the love I need to see me through this.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Can I write a novel in 30 days?

A challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days or National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is quickly approaching. November 1st marks the day participants begin writing every day for one month in hopes of completing 50,000 words. The creators of this writing project hoped the dreams of aspiring novelists would come true by writing without inhibitions and putting the internal editor to sleep. Which, right now, is something I struggle with every time I sit in front of my computer.

Here's a peek into my daily writing routine: stop every few lines, go back, reread, shift words around, stare at the screen, plan my next move, check email, walk around, and repeat. I end up with more frustration than success. Perfecting an unfinished piece does nothing but waste time. You can't properly revise writing without seeing the whole picture. Yet, I do just that and all I accomplish is a lengthy list of excuses, getting no closer to finishing a project.

NaNoWriMo really challenges its participants to write without stopping, to push for quantity rather than quality. This could be a chance to write my first novel; a chance to really open up my creative flow, stay on the main road of writing, instead of constantly turning onto editing, revising, and insecurity side streets.

An ambitious endeavor? Sure, but my current unemployed status offers copious amounts of writing time. Why not take advantage of the opportunity?

Immediately, several drawbacks spring to mind.

Let's see . . . will there be time to complete other writing projects? Currently, I am building a freelance career, and time needs to be worked into the novel schedule for income-providing essays and articles. I could spend the rest of October developing the outline and character sketches for my novel and researching and outlining writing projects I can submit for payment. If all the leg work is taken care of I'll only need to focus on writing the essays or articles in between the novel.

What happens if I burn out? December comes along and slaps me in the face with a loss of interest, just in time for the holidays. The fear of not writing again creeps into my thoughts. I don't want to destroy something before it gets started. From what I have seen on the NaNoWriMo website though, the forums and meet ups help participants stay focused and motivated. Not only will I have put together a supportive community for the novel, but I'm sure they will be there after the challenge is over to keep me on track.

Questions of why I want to embark on this crazy novel-writing journey continue popping up. Challenging and pushing myself out of the comfort zone shows me what I can handle and how far I can go. My writing routine will pick up speed becoming reckless and wild. No time for second-guessing, releasing myself into a euphoric state of creation. Frustration, hesitation, and procrastination will no longer plague me on a regular basis. This outside pressure, forcing me past my insecurities, will produce a full piece of writing. I will be one step closer to my dream of publishing a novel, and be overwhelmed with pride.

Of course, the thought of not completing the challenge nags me, but the idea of fearlessness is intoxicating. Taking a tip from Sandra Cisneros, I won't let fear get in my way. I will tackle the things I'm afraid of. So, I'm going to sign up for the NaNoWriMo challenge. No more questions. No more hesitations.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Internship and Writing Project Leave Bad Taste in Mouth

When I began my internship with Mr. H, an English professor/playwright, in July, his close friend Mr. C needed a web page to inform potential investors and other interested people about the ballet company International Ballet Classique in Delaware County. As a board member, he hoped to keep costs down for the non-profit company by utilizing the free service of Wikipedia and Mr. H's interns. Ultimately, receiving free publicity. Mr. H offered the project to me, thinking it could lead to a Wikipedia writing business.

How often would I receive professional writing opportunities with no experience? I thought about it for a few seconds--encouraged by Mr. H's confidence in me--then said yes. I knew this experience would help me find paid writing jobs in the future.

The first step was to email Mr. C and attach a writing sample. I used the only one I had to date from college: Alice in Wonderland re-imagined. When I called him, he and I spoke about my piece and my writing aspirations. He assured me when ever an idea for an article came to him, he would let me know. Then asked me to keep in touch with him via email throughout the process.

Once I hung up, I got to work researching the company through websites and online articles. Mr. C also mailed me a copy of the Brandywine Country magazine with an article on IBC's ballet master and mistress, Denis Gronostaskiy and Anastasia Babayeva. I sifted through the information I accumulated, jotted down notes in my journal, and compiled the research into a word document. During my search, I noticed most of the sites regurgitated the same small amount of information, but the magazine article proved helpful, providing insight into the two dancers.

During this phase, Mr. C emailed me Wikipedia entires on other ballet companies to study the structure of their pages. I gathered details from entries I felt were aesthetically pleasing and user friendly and set up an outline based on those notes. Then, I filled the outline in with all the research I had highlighted to use for the entry.

Afterwards, I noticed gaps from a lack of information. I emailed Mr. C, updating him on what I completed to this point, and listed all my questions to be answered by Executive Director Josie Singer. Unfortunately, Mrs. Singer was burdened with family problems and unable to answer my questions for several weeks.

Finally, I received an email from Mr. C with some answers to my questions, but not all. I then incorporated them into the outline. The company was busy with rehearsals for The Nutcracker, so Mr. C suggested I write two separate entries on Denis and Anastasia while I waited for the rest of the answers. I thought it was a great idea, giving me three entries to my name, instead of just one. He then informed me the links to Wikipedia entries could be placed directly on a web page, giving their visitors direct access to biographical information about them. Even better! This project would not only provide me writing experience, but make my work available to many people.

My email correspondence with Mr. C alleviated traveling expense and time, but increased confusion and response times. The middle man process was frustrating, but I encouraged myself everyday to keep working hard to complete the shorter entries while waiting for a response to my questions for the company entry. My internship had cultivated several writing opportunities and fostered a strong social connection. I was genuinely happy with my choice to leave teaching to become a full-time writer.

Well, since I had no interest in being a T.A., my internship with Mr. H was put on hold. When I applied for the position, I was under the impression that I would be editing, researching, and improving my writing. The beginning of it stayed true to the ad, but once he started back with his college classes, I spent the entire time revising and adding images to his instructional handouts, reading chapters aloud to him, and typing up the essential information from the readings so he could create tests for his students. I no longer researched and edited his plays, reviews, and articles or created newsletters, which is what I thought the internship entailed.

When we discussed the current status of the internship, he offered me a list of upcoming projects that were geared more to a writer and asked me to get back to him, letting him know which ones were of interest to me and what days I would be available.

I emailed him two days later. I didn't receive a response.

Soon after, I emailed Mr. C the two entries on Denis and Anastasia for final approval. He responded several days later raving about Jeremy Gill's, Delaware County's new Maestro, successful debut and let me know he was waiting for a response from Mrs. Singer. Picking myself up from my fizzled internship with Mr. H, I responded to Mr. C's email expressing my congratulations and hope in landing an editorial internship advertised on Craigslist with MetroKids magazine.

I never received a response.

Since I still hadn't heard from Mr. H, I applied to MetroKids, received a call back from the editor, and started the internship, updating their attractions list online and writing articles for the magazine a week later. Finding this internship that fit my goals renewed my confidence.

Several days later, I sent another email ensuring Mr. C was well and to inquire about the entries' approval.

Still no response.

At this point, I started developing a complex. Were my emails going through? What did I do wrong? Had I unintentionally bruised an ego? Why wouldn't anyone send me a response?

Finally Mr. H emailed me back when I responded to his self-promoting email. I admit I was pretty peeved by his audacity to ignore my email, but expect me to critique his writing. I set aside my emotions, hoping I would find out what was going on, and updated him on my educational and professional endeavors.

He was happy to hear I was keeping busy, asked me how the Wikipedia entries were developing, and passed along his sadness for the ending of my internship. I respectfully told him I was unaware that the internship ended, since he never said anything to that affect. Told him, "In fact, he gave me a list of other projects for me to work on, which I was grateful for, but I never received a response." I also laid out the current circumstances with the Wikipedia entries and asked for his advice. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, I might find out why he didn't respond to me and determine what happened with the Wikipedia entries.

I ensured my correspondence was professional and lacked anger or accusations, even though I felt his internship was falsely advertised and his behavior was unbecoming.

I didn't receive a response.

Now, I was pissed. Mr. H had no problem during my internship pointing out the improper way I spoke, and educating me on polite social etiquette I should follow when corresponding with contacts and colleagues. Now all of a sudden he can't talk to me? He's above his own advice? I still hadn't received an email back in over two weeks from Mr. C. My irritation was reaching critical level, and I was appalled by the lack of professional courtesy both gentlemen have offered me.

If I did something wrong, I am positive I would have heard about it. Mr. H had no problem telling editors and other contacts he worked with they did something wrong while corresponding with him. So, what happened? Did I hit a nerve? Or was what I did so apprehensive it didn't warrant a response?

Right now I am starting NaNoWriMo and working with my new internship. I lost a few things up to this point, but I gained valuable knowledge that guides me everyday. Whether I ever receive a response or not, I need to encourage myself to keep moving forward, write for myself, and know better opportunities will present themselves.

First Submission

Since I'm cultivating a freelance writing career, submitting my work for publication is Step One, I thought, to determine if my work is worth reading, letting me know if I could succeed. So, I drafted an essay for an online collection of commentary on trials, tribulations, and triumphs in the Philadelphia area called Metropolis.

To get an idea of the site's style preferences, I read a few essays. They ranged from writers discussing their love life to a play-by-play of trash picking in Society Hill to a woman complaining about the misuse of sidewalks by bicyclers, strollers, and alfresco dining in the city.

Thinking of events that occurred to me in the past month or so, I decided to write about a frustrating experience with the professor I intern for in Upper Darby and describe my attempt to steer clear of bruising his fragile, inflated ego.

Once I finished, I realized writing this piece was a difficult undertaking, much harder than writing blogs, prompts, and short stories. My essay had to follow guidelines if I wanted to get the editor's approval for publication. I also wanted to ensure I addressed the topic professionally, approaching it with sensitivity and maturity, and protecting the identities of the subjects, incase they were to read it.

After completing the essay, I reached out to two trusted, well-read friends for revision and editing purposes, and I tightened the essay and began the submission process. I wasn't sure how to go about it, so I read Metropolis' guidelines and a few articles, and decided to introduce myself and explain why I contacted them. Then, I thanked the editor for his time and consideration, and attached the essay.

All of a sudden my confidence was no where to be found. I nervously stared at the send button thinking they might hate my essay. A few minutes passed while I considered whether I should revise it one more time or if I should just abandon the whole idea. Before I could psych myself out, I quickly hit send.

I crossed my fingers and anxiously checked my email every hour for a few days, until I finally got the response. A sense of relief calmed some of the panic, but remember, I didn't open the email yet. I had to get over myself. I took a deep breath and opened it. My fears became reality. The essay was REJECTED!! I read the response with chest pains and an inability to catch my breath:

"We regret it does not meet our needs. It is more of an interior essay -- mostly about your thoughts -- that about an interesting life experience." Senior Editor, Tom Ferrick

First came the devistation. I put myself out there, and they refused to receive me.

Second came the analysis of the email. Well, the rejection was based on the type of essay, rather than my ability to write. I'll take that over being told I suck.

Third came the anger. What was he talking about? I read plenty of essays that came across as more of an interior essay than retelling of an event on the site.

Fourth came the acceptance. Looking back over my essay, he was right. I didn't focus on an event. I lead the readers through my intellectual and emotional journey surrounding the event. So, maybe he was right to reject the essay.

Fifth came the reanalysis of the email. Did this "senior editor" have a typo in his email? That left me with little confidence in him or his web site.

Finally, I put all my emotions aside and realized that rejection is a large part of a writer's life. My journey just began, and this will not be the last time my work is discarded. I also realized I was trying to walk, before I crawled. Since changing career paths from an English teacher to a writer, I realized I didn't have a tremendous amount of writing samples. Actually, I didn't have anything, except papers I wrote in college. Step One: Focus on developing and strengthening my style and building my portfolio. Step Two: Repeat Step One. Step Three: Submit work. The only thing left to do now is get back to writing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bittersweet Contest Winner

I woke up to my phone alarm Saturday morning. As I turned it off, I noticed I had an email from Writer's Digest. I quickly opened the email in hopes to find out the results from the Office Swag Giveaway Contest I entered. I read the email as quickly as I could to find out if I had won, and there it was: "the names of all the authors who wrote stories went into the magic hat, and four emerged--Nathan HonorĂ©, Dare Gaither, Laura M. Campbell and Jo O’Connor." I won!

My excitement spread across my face and I bounced around in bed. Upon reading the email more closely, I noticed, although it required participants to send in their response to the prompt, the winners were chosen at random. Disappointment swallowed my joyous celebration.

They didn't even read my response. The winners weren't chosen based on merit? How anticlimactic. Sigh. I laid back down and stared at my ceiling, upset and embarrassed. How could I tell anyone I won a writing contest when it was all random? Then I realized two things: I still won five books I didn't have to pay for and my name was emailed to everyone on the mailing list.

This prompt response was the first piece of fiction I'd written since graduating from Penn State eight years ago. I made myself a New Year's resolution this year to bring writing back into my life, and in the past six months I took several steps, dispelling the fantasy.

Back in May when I joined Philadelphia Writer's Group, I was still teaching, dealing with the stress of 8th graders. My confidence didn't even register on a scale. I immediately signed up to attend a meeting in June. Unfortunately, being a wuss, I didn't show up. Two months later and a few moves up the scale, I finally made it. After three meet ups, I've become part of a community of writers that support and inspire each other.

At the beginning of each meet up, the head organizer, Julius, asks the members to share their successes and failures in their writing life. I shared my contest winning only after speaking with him. He told me that no matter how I won, I was entered into the contest because I submitted my writing. When I stopped to think about it, that was true. I finally put all the daydreaming aside, and actually put words on paper.

As my choices began to push my confidence up the scale, I ripped off the bandaid protecting my fragile ego and submitted this piece to my writer's group for critique. It's time to see what people think of my writing. As my excitement keeps me motivated, I plan to continue my writing, pushing my dreams into existence.
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